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Sarasota News Leader December 21, 2012 Page 96 Siesta Seen Bob Luckner and Dr. Allan Worms, a retired wildlife biologist who volunteers with Sarasota Audubon ��� like Bob and Catherine Luckner ��� had asked her, she said, to seek county staff���s help in dealing with fire ants on Siesta beach. Vice Chairwoman Carolyn Mason seconded the motion, which passed unanimously. CROSSWALK BID UPDATE After my deadline for this column last week, Tom Maroney, general manager for business operations in the county���s Public Works Department, notified me staff is going to try to accelerate the time frame for the County Commission to vote on the bid award for construction and installation of lighting for the Siesta Village crosswalks. ���Apparently, [the fire ants] are perfectly capable of eating through eggs and killing the young babies as they hatch,��� Patterson explained the concerns regarding the endangered snowy plovers that nest on Siesta each year. While it typically takes five or six weeks to Audubon volunteers noted considerable prob- get an item on the board���s agenda, Maroney lems with the fire ants this year, especially in said, staff had been asked to move faster on this matter. Therefore, he added, unless a bid conservation easement areas where the birds protest or some unexpected situation arises, have been likely to build their nests, Patterson the County Commission is scheduled to disadded. cuss the bid award on Jan. 29. Luckner and Worms had asked her to seek consensus from the other commissioners to allow them to talk with staff about the use of organically friendly pesticides in those easements, she said. ���They are prepared to do all the footwork of getting permission from the property owners��� of the easements, Patterson added, so the pesticides can be used. Patterson made a motion for County Administrator Randall Reid or his designee to meet with Bob Luckner and Worms about the issue, then report to the commission on the subsequent recommendations. The bids are due by Jan. 9. Once they are in, the county���s Procurement Department staff will vet them and rank them, to make a recommendation for the commission. ���We���ll see what we can do,��� Maroney added. ���We���re trying to get this done in the most expeditious way possible.��� During both the November and December Siesta Key Village Association meetings, SKVA President Russell Matthes had noted how critical it was to get the lighting installed before mid-February, when season gets into full swing. %

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